SMART Tunnel Run 2017 – Preview by Happy Runner
I am always on the look-out for NEW RUNNING EXPERIENCES, and the upcoming SMART Tunnel Run is just one such event which has certainly captured my imagination. Running has taken me to many interesting places, introduced me to hidden oasis, and it has even opened the doors to some restricted zones. For only the second time in its 10 year history will this Motorway Tunnel be totally closed-off from any motor vehicles to accommodate thousands of underground runners.
What is it like to run inside a road tunnel? Will the atmosphere be unusually hot? Will the UNDERGROUND AIR be free of carbon-monoxide? Are all the necessary precautions being considered by the Event Owners Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and JPS, the Organiser, Kelab Sukan, Kebajikan dan Rekreasi (KEJAPS), JPSKL, Technical Partner FTKLAA, and by all of their concerned Event Sponsors and Partners in order to ensure a SAFE and ENJOYABLE event for the public? Hopefully, this report will answer some of the major concerns the hesitant Public might harbour.
Furthermore, I will share with my readers and interested runners, some relevant information about this RARE event, and give you a glimpse into a new experience of running ‘underneath’ KL.
SECOND TIME AROUND
The first SMART Tunnel Run took place in 2007 to celebrate its opening.
This second time, the caretaker of the SMART Tunnel, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (Jabatan Pengairan Saliran or JPS) is again opening their road tunnel to community runners in conjunction with their 10th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS.
To learn more about this most unique running event, I attended the media launch on 22 May 2017 at the SMART CONTROL CENTRE (Kampung Berembang Ampang) which was graced by Datuk Dr. Ir. Hj. Hamin Bin Samuri, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Check-out the Video Clip of the Opening Speech.
CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE
I was also fortunate to have joined, on my road bike, a handful of runners recently for a short TEST RUN inside the SMART Tunnel during the last routine maintenance and repair works. At that time, we also became Extras in a running promotional video shot by JPS staff. Check-out the Video Clip of TEST RUNNERS FIRDAUS and KC Tan, and more!
WORLD’S FIRST DUAL-PURPOSE TUNNEL
SMART is an acronym for Stormwater Management And Road Tunnel. At a cost of RM1.9 billion, the SMART Tunnel was built 10 years ago, and it is made-up of 3 decks which stretches 4 km from Kampung Pandan Roundabout Sungai Besi to KL-Seremban Highway at Sungai Besi. The Upper and Lower Decks of the Motorway Tunnel are for vehicles exiting and entering Kuala Lumpur respectively. While, the bottom drain is reserved only to allow water to pass through whenever the Holding Pond (capacity of 500,000 cubic metres) at Kampung Berembang is at full capacity in order to mitigate flash floods in KL originating from Sungai Klang and Sungai Ampang. The receiving Attenuation Pond with a capacity of 1,400,000 cubic metres is at Taman Desa.
When there are no storms, or when there is a moderate or major storm, the excess water flows through the bottom drain. The Motorway Tunnel has an additional capacity of 250,000 cubic metres is only flooded if there is a PROLONGED MAJOR STORM.
Running Event | Smart Tunnel Run
Date | 30 July 2017
Venue | Berjaya Times Square
Distance | 12km (8km Underground)
Flag-Off | 6:30 am (1st wave), 6:45 am (2nd wave) and 7:00 am (3rd wave)
Maximum Runners | 3000
Owners | JPS and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Organiser | Kelab Sukan, Kebajikan dan Rekreasi (KEJAPS), JPSKL
Technical Partner | FTKLAA
The SMART Tunnel is closed to public vehicles once-a-month for maintenance from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am. On one such occasion, just before midnight on 7th June 2017, I followed, on my SPEEDX road bike, a four-vehicle convoy consisting of JPS staff, FTKLAA Technical Crew, and a handful of runners to recce the underground route.
Led by the Chief Of Maintenance, we traveled a short distance from the SMART CONTROL CENTRE, near Kg. Pandan Roundabout, to the barricaded tunnel entrance. After getting SECURITY CLEARANCE, our convoy slowly descended the wide tunnel ramp into the brightly lit Upper Deck which usually carries countless vehicles out of KL to Sungai Besi. During such planned maintenance works, there are only the maintenance crew who are busily checking, cleaning and repairing the tunnel interior.
MEDICAL AND SAFETY MEASURES
Upon entering the tunnel, we traveled less than 1 km to Exit 7 which will be the location of the first Drink Station. In total, there are 17 such emergency exits inside the whole tunnel, and four of these exits have AUTOMATIC LIFT shafts which goes up to ground level. The lift shaft at Exit 7 will be put to good used by the FTKLAA crew to carry drinks to the water stations at the Upper Deck and Lower Deck, as well as act as precautionary emergency exits for any runners who may require urgent medical treatment.
To cope with thousands of excited runners inside the underground tunnel on race day, JPS is engaging the special services of FTKLAA, Ambulance Services, Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (KLGH) and Emergency Responders.
IS IT TOO HOT?
When I rode my bike inside the tunnel on the upper deck at night, I found the air near the tunnel entrance and exit was cool as a result of the wind-effect. Inside the tunnel, it was no more hotter than outdoors, and runners can expect to sweat as much as any other run.
HOW CLEAN IS THE AIR INSIDE?
The air was odorless and clean during my two hours DEEP inside the SMART Tunnel.
DO I FEEL CLAUSTROPHOBIC?
The space inside the tunnel is huge and well-lit, plus the flag-off will be conducted over 3 waves of maximum 1,000 runners each which will be separated by 15 minutes interval.
BERJAYA TIMES SQUARE will be the backdrop of this event, and it will be cool to see all the runners congregate there for the flag-off and at the finish line at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. After the run, runners can make the most of their time in the city centre and go for a movie, engage in some retail therapy or simply enjoy a good meal.
EXPECTED EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
✔Car-Free 8 km Tunnel Running
✔Once Every 10 Year Event
✔Spinning Finisher Medal
✔Hang-out At Berjaya Times Square
✔Support JPS who look after our Rivers nationwide
To REGISTER ONLINE and for MORE INFORMATION, http://www.twentyfirstcenturysports.com/event/smarttunnelrun2017/
Registration Closing 30th June 2017 or upon reaching 3,000 entries whichever comes earlier.
To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance WRITER, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.
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